If tourism is meant to be the new gold for South Africa, safety and security might be the spit and polish to its rather lackluster performance - especially for an economy in desperate need of a boost.
While StatsSA is set to update travel and migration figures for April 2019 on Monday 24 June, international tourism to South Africa is said to be on the decline - with SA tourism also expected to release its quarterly data on Monday.
Irrespective, the numbers are nowhere near on track for the projected 21-million tourists by 2030 growth rate, as expressed yet again by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 20 June.
READ: Ramaphosa: New visa reforms 'to boost tourism' as part of #StimulusPackage
Ramaphosa reiterated the need to build a "world-class visa regime" as well as give significant focus to key markets that have the potential of boosting our tourism, such as "China, India and arrivals from the rest of our continent".
"We are determined to ensure that tourists who come to our country are safe," says Ramaphosa.
Ultimate safety remains a major part of the decision making process when travellers choose a destination. Knowing that you are able to relax and have a good time while on holiday, makes for an exceptional experience - the value of which is not lost, especially here in South Africa. And especially not on Ramaphosa.
The 19th Annual Holiday Barometer by Europ Assist, which looks at the summer holiday plans and travel preferences of respondents in twelve countries across the globe - including SA's key inbound markets from the US and Europe, shows just how important it is in the decision making process.
READ: Local stays, safety and budget influential factors for US and Euro travellers looking to take a summer break
‘Understand the value of Tourism’
South African Tourism Acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini previously highlighted the impact of crime and South Africa's perception as a destination when it comes to safety.
The visitor experience remains crucial says Dlamini, with the South African Tourism's campaign We Do Tourism, started two years ago, being amplified to show people how to be welcoming to travellers from the rest of the continent.